HC Deb 29 April 1926 vol 194 cc2193-4
48. Sir W. de FRECE

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of mines which are being carried on at a loss, and the amount of capital sunk in them?


I have been asked to reply. In February, the latest month for which particulars are available, returns supplied by 808 undertakings covering practically the whole of the industry, show that 602, producing 72 per cent. of the output, were worked at a loss before crediting subvention. My right hon. Friend has no information about the amount of capital invested in these undertakings. He would also refer my hon. Friend to the figures given on 23rd April, in reply to a question put to him by the hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. S. Roberts), showing the tonnage produced in different districts during the quarter ending December, 1925, at a profit and at a loss respectively before crediting subsidy.


Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House why such a large percentage of the total collieries are working at a loss, and can he tell us whether the Report of the Commission does not bear out that it is largely due to the inefficiency of the collieries themselves?


Is it possible to say whether there has been an increase in the number of collieries that have been suffering a loss since the subvention was granted?


I am not connected with the Department, so that I cannot answer the question.